EU Justice Commissioner Reding warns over Roma 'discrimination'

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The EU's Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has said she will hold "open, frank and honest" discussions with national governments on the situation of the Roma community.

In a statement in Brussels on 26 June 2013, she accused some governments of making "openly discriminatory and partly inflammatory" statements towards the Roma.

The statement was made to report on the progress of the EU framework for national Roma integration strategies, which was launched in 2011, following concerns over the Roma community in France.

The strategy was designed to improve the integration of Roma people in national education and healthcare systems.

Ms Reding said the European Commission was "committed to supporting the activities of national governments" with funding from the EU Structural Funds.

There are between 10 million and 12 million Roma living in the EU, with the largest communities in Bulgaria and Romania.

A 2012 report from the EU Agency on Fundamental Rights found that only 15% of young Roma adults had completed higher education, and that around 70% of the Roma community of working age were out of work.

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